So, you're wondering about me... (I do that too, sometimes...).
Well, I was born in one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Cape Town – in the shadow of that looming, flat-topped mountain, and I grew up listening to my grandmother telling me tales of her life as a girl in Austria. It didn’t take me long to realise that stories were magical things, and by the age of eight I’d written my first play. Called Little Girl Lost, it was set on rollerskates, so predating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express by about a decade! As I recall, I charged the neighbourhood kids five cents to watch it. Sadly, it was a one-night wonder (though this might have had something to do with our German Shepherd trying to eat everyone who came through the gate…)
For as long as I can remember I have written stories – frequently freaking out my poor mother by always killing each character at the end. At the age of 10, it did seem the easiest way to deal with sticky characters who refused to shut up…
As I grew older, wondering if I’d ever really grow up (there is a difference, you know), I wondered what sort of career I should have. For a while I toyed with journalism and did a degree in English and Politics with a smattering of Pscyhology thrown in for good measure. But eventually I ended up as a scriptwriter for a large corporate, writing, directing and producing in-house training and marketing videos (so not a glamourous Hollywood-type job!). From marketing videos it was a short hop into marketing and communications – first writing copy and newsletters, then building brands and creating marketing strategies. It wasn’t until I found myself as marketing director for a group of consulting actuaries (yes, I know, what on earth was I thinking?!) that I decided I really wasn’t living the dream. And that was the dream I’d had in my early twenties - to write for young adults and children. It was, I realized, time to reclaim my life! I was quite sure there had to be more fun in writing than there was in corporate politics, power-mongering and office backstabbing. There’re other worlds out there, I thought to myself, and set off to explore them.
I’ve been writing full time for several years – mostly non-fiction travel, lifestyle and conservation articles for magazines (for which I do my own photography) – and a few short stories which are scattered around the internet.
But my real passion lies in writing for children – or, more specifically, young adults. I remember so well the hours I spent devouring books in my school library and wishing there were more books that suited me – and I suppose, much of what I write today is as much for the young adult in me, as it is for any young adult.
The road to being published is long and hard, as many writers will tell you. But I believe if you really want something, you can achieve it – so long as you have willpower, perseverance, a thick skin, lots of patience and are willing to work hard!
For more about me, take a look at the interview over at Dragon Fly Scrolls.